Coming Up in October…

Hello Parents,
 
As next week quickly approaches, I just wanted to remind you of some events that will also be taking place.
 

  • “SIS Stories” Podcast Global Event on October 17th all day – from the convenience of your own home or workplace; just click HERE on that date
  • Annual Bayside Halloween Haunted House on October 19th from 6:00pm to 8:30pm – at SIS Bayside Campus; 20RMB for students, 10RMB for accompanying adults
  • 2018-2019 PSA Family Movie Night on October 20th starting at 5:30pm for food stalls and 6:30pm for movie – at SIS Jinshan Sports Field
     
    Looking for a way to study key vocabulary words in preparation for our science unit on matter, mixtures, and solutions? Here are two great quizlets shared by Mrs. Gibson to help your student in their endeavors:
     
  • Quizlet Flashcards 1
  • Quizlet Flashcards 2
     
    In mathematics, we have begun investigating the order of operations and numerical expressions. If you would like to review some of these concepts so far instructed, here are a few resources to assist:
     
  • Study Jams: Order of Operations
  • Khan Academy: Constructing Numerical Expressions
     
    As we complete our “Who We Are” unit of inquiry, we are also wrapping up our reading interpretative book clubs and narrative writings. We are now crossing over to our second unit of inquiry, “How the World Works” where we will be delving deeper into nonfiction text and research essay writing. Please keep a look out for our big wrap up at the end of the next unit where students will showcase their mastery learning from each topic / unit.
     
  • Weekly Wrap Up

    A bus obstructed by a tree near Fraser Place.

    It has been a crazy week! Due to Typhoon Mangkhut, parent teacher conferences, and a teacher PL day tomorrow, students only had two days of school this week.

    Thank you for attending conferences and helping your children create strong goals for this semester! Also, thank you for your generous donations to our classroom library!

    In Writing, students took a break from drafting their realistic fiction stories to brainstorm their goals for this first semester. They began by listing their strengths and areas for growth before choosing one academic and one social goal to focus on.  Afterwards, students were asked to create an action plan to help them achieve each one. Today, students went back, reflected on their conferences, and wrote about their goals in more detail on Seesaw. Please visit and comment on their work!

    In Reading, we continued with Book Clubs. Most of the groups have finished their first book and are analyzing the characters, setting, problems, and themes that they find. We have been paying especially close attention to exploring common themes and finding evidence in our books through quotes and page numbers.

    In Math, we continued our exploration of decimal place value by rounding decimals to various place values using number lines and adding and subtracting decimals using a place value disc chart as well as the standard algorithm. Students will have the Unit 1 assessment on Tuesday. Please find PDF links to the lessons for this unit on the Math page of this blog.

    In Social Studies, students finished their notes on the ancient Sumerian and Incan civilizations and chose a third ancient civilization to study. Mr. Sheppard came by to give a presentation to students on the importance of design principles when creating an effective Keynote. Students are gathering information and then making an evaluation of which six influences they think are most important for creating a successful civilization.

    Due to the short week, there is no Seesaw Interactive Journal for this Friday but we hope that you visit Seesaw to see more of the work that your child has been doing in school!

    Weekly Wrap (9/10-9/14)

    We have completed our fourth full week of school!

    Congratulations to our 5C STUCO representatives (Shian and Jonathan) as well as our Global Citizen ESLR award winners (Geeta, Daniel, and Jonathan)!

    In Writing, students have been planning their realistic fiction stories. We have been working on developing our characters’ internal and external traits and brainstorming realistic problems for our characters to overcome. We are beginning our drafting.

    In Word Work, we have been learning about prepositions and reviewing our knowledge of conjunctions.

    In Reading, we have begun our Book Clubs. This means that we are in mixed class groups and our task is to read and discuss a realistic fiction and historical fiction book over the next four weeks. We are discussing the characters, setting, problems, and themes that we find, as well as any connections, reactions, predictions, opinions, or questions we might have.

    In Math, we have been exploring decimal place value by learning about exponents, converting metric units, reading and writing decimals in different forms, and ordering and comparing decimals. We are also plotting decimals on number lines and learning how to round to specified place values.

    In Social Studies, we are diving deep into our exploration of civilizations by researching both the Sumerian and Incan civilizations and then choosing another ancient civilization to study. Students are gathering information and then making an evaluation of which six influences they think are most important for creating a successful civilization.

    Again, please take the time to read and comment on your child’s weekly letter to you on Seesaw. The Seesaw Interactive Digital notebook that we ask your child to complete for homework each Friday will be a time for your child to reflect upon his/her learning for the week and for you to learn more about what your child has been doing in school!

    Weekly Update (5/7-5/11)

    Important Events this Week:

    • Teacher Appreciation = STUCO and the PSA will be selling flowers in front of the Parkside and Mountainside buildings on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8th and 9th. Flowers are 10RMB each (they are currently sold out of cards!)
    • Student Led Conferences = Students are preparing Keynotes that highlight the goals they have achieved and what they have learned throughout the year. They will present their Keynotes to their parents in a 20 minute session this Thursday, May 10th. There will be no school on this day. Students will come with their parents during their assigned time slots. They should bring their iPads.

    Next Week:

    • MAP Testing = Students will have MAP testing next Monday (Math 11-12), Tuesday (Reading 1:15-2:15), and Wednesday (Language Usage 8:00-9:00) from May 14th-16th.

    Reading – Students are reading a mixture of both news articles and Just Right books. End of Year DRA testing is also beginning this week.

    Writing – Students are using what they have learned about writing news articles in our Journalism unit to write their own articles about an event that has happened this year in 4B. We will use these articles to create a 4B Newspaper. Students learned how to write a headline, lead, and utilize the 5Ws and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) to structure their news articles. We also focused on using journalistic vocabulary, 3rd person narration, and including quotes in our pieces.

    Math – Students have been learning about Fractions, including how to decompose fractions in various ways and justify equivalent fractions using words, pictures, and numbers. In preparation for the MAP test, we are also doing a review of the other units we have learned in fourth grade.

    Social Studies/PYP – We are wrapping up our PYP unit on “Economy”. In this unit, students investigated the Central Idea (Economies rely on resources and choices to sustain societies) along three Lines of Inquiry (1. The availability of resources influences the economy. 2. Economies connect people and societies. 3. People regulate economies.) Students studied the Great Depression to investigate why it became necessary for the government to become involved and begin to regulate the US economy at this time. We will end the unit by discussing important features of our modern economy, including money and banks.

     

    Weekly Preview (4/23-4/27)

    Important Events this Week (It’s a busy one!):

    • Earth Week = Students will be watching videos and doing activities to learn more about how they can help protect the Earth! 
    • Author Visit = Helaine Becker will visit and speak to students on Monday, April 23rd.
    • Literacy Lounge = Student work from the year has been hung up on Level 5. We will be visiting on Monday, April 23rd to read the writing of the students of SIS! 
    • Talent Show = This will take place in the afternoon on Friday, April 27th
    • Swimming begins this week! Students will have swimming this Monday and Thursday! 
    • Chloe’s Last Week = Chloe will be leaving for the US on Tuesday, May 1st. We will miss her and wish her the best of luck! 

    Next Week:

    • No school on Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st = Students will return to school on Wednesday, May 2nd

    Reading – Students have begun a unit on Journalism to tie into our new PYP unit on “Economy”. We have been talking about the importance of staying informed of current events as Global Citizens and are using apps and websites like Newsela and Time for Kids to read news articles about what is happening in the world.

    Writing – We have completed our Literary Essay unit and begun a unit on Journalism. Students are learning how to write a headline, lead, and utilize the 5Ws and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) to structure their news articles.

    Math – We have completed our Geometry unit and are beginning Module 5 on Fractions. This is an important unit in fourth grade. Students began the unit with an investigation into what fractions are and ways in which we can decompose fractions using pictures and numbers. Fraction vocabulary is also a focus.

    Social Studies/PYP – We have begun our first PYP unit for the year called “Economy”. In this unit, students will investigate the Central Idea (Economies rely on resources and choices to sustain societies) along three Lines of Inquiry (1. The availability of resources influences the economy. 2. Economies connect people and societies. 3. People regulate economies.) Students began this unit with a trading resources activity that helped them understand how trade began and its general benefits. We also studied how the Silk Road helped to connect different civilizations and brought unknown goods to different parts of Europe and Asia. We will begin a study of the Gold Rush and how it affected our understanding of economy this week.

    Word Study  – Students will be reviewing run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Depending on time during this busy week, we will talk about countable/uncountable nouns and how to properly use adjectives such as “much” and “many”.

     

    Weekly Preview (3/12-3/16)

    Important Events this Week:

    • Book Week
      • Cozy Up With a Book and Read! (Wear your pajamas to school!)
      • DEAR – Drop Everything and Read! 
      • Teacher Swap – Have a different teacher come in as a Guest Reader for the Read Aloud!
      • Free Choice – Think of a reading activity to do with the class – maybe get together with your Reading Buddies!
      • Book Character Dress Up Day / Door Decorating Contest – Dress up as your favorite character and listen for the winners of the Door Decorating Contest at this morning’s assembly!
    • Report Cards go live at 3:00pm on Schoolbase – Friday, March 16th

    Next Week:

    • G4 Concert – 5:00pm in the Gecko Theater on Tuesday, March 20th

    Reading – This whole week is about reading and books but students will be given the freedom to read books of their choice in any language or reading level!

    Writing – We chose our thesis statements and are completing our graphic organizers with our reasons and details/quotes from the short story, “Fox”. Using what we know about essay writing, we will begin drafting our first literary essays.

    Math – We are continuing with “Module 4: Angles and Plane Figures”. This week students will learn about benchmark angles and how to use protractors to measure  and draw accurate angles.

    Science – Students are continuing their study of “Soils, Rocks, and Landforms” by learning about topographical maps, rapid changes in the earth’s surface, and what we can learn from fossils.

    Word Study  – We have been practicing tricky, commonly misspelled words, specifically trying to master the spelling words on the Grade 4 Dolch List.

    Weekly Preview (3/5-3/9)

    Important Events this Week:

    • G10 students visit G4 classrooms this Tuesday and Wednesday (March 6th and 7th) to share their completed historical graphic novels.
    • G5 Robot Dance Off is this Wednesday, March 7th. G4 students will be the judges. 

    Next Week:

    • Book Week – March 5th to March 9th (next week)
      • Book Character Dress Up Day – Friday, March 16th (Your child is strongly encouraged to dress up as their favorite character! )

    Reading – Students continue with their Book Club work while independently reading Just-Right books. The work we are doing with character analysis, theme, and supporting inferences with details from the text is supported in our “Literary Essay” writing unit.

    Writing – Our “Literary Essay” unit combines students’ prior knowledge of essay writing with an in-depth focus on closely reading and analyzing literary texts. We have been analyzing the characters in the short story, “Fox”, and are writing entries to grow our thinking about the story. We will use this material to create strong thesis statements which will become the basis for our first literary essay.

    Math – We are continuing with “Module 4: Angles and Plane Figures”. We are reviewing how to label and represent points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles. We are also revisiting kinds of angles (right, acute, obtuse) and lines (parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting). This week students will learn about benchmark angles and how to use protractors to measure angles.

    Science – Students are continuing their study of “Soils, Rocks, and Landforms” by learning about topographical maps and how to read and create a topographical profile. We will also investigate fossils by creating our own!

    Word Study  – We have been practicing tricky, commonly misspelled words, specifically trying to master the spelling words on the Grade 4 Dolch List.

    Weekly Preview (2/26-3/2)

    Important Events this Week:

    • Nanshan Fieldtrip – Friday, March 2nd

    Reading – We are continuing our Book Club work which is further supported by our new “Literary Essay” writing unit. Students are closely analyzing characters, author’s purpose, and theme in their Book Club books and in the short stories we will be using in writing.

    Writing – We are launching a new unit called “Literary Essay”. This unit will combine students’ prior knowledge of essay writing with an in depth focus on closely reading and analyzing literary texts. This week we are reading the short story, “Fox”, as a class and analyzing the characters. We are writing entries to grow our thinking about the story and will eventually use this material to create strong thesis statements about the text.

    Math – We have begun “Module 4: Angles and Plane Figures”. This week we have been learning about points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles. We are also learning about kinds of angles (right, acute, obtuse) and lines (parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting).

    Science – Students are continuing their study of “Soils, Rocks, and Landforms” by investigating the concepts of erosion and deposition. We are modeling these phenomena by using stream tables to observe how the erosion of earth materials by water helps to create landforms. Students will be able to observe these processes in the real world on Friday when we go on our geology fieldtrip up Nanshan.

    Word Study  – We have returned to focus on Spelling, specifically trying to master the spelling words on the Grade 4 Dolch List.

    Weekly Preview / Wrap Up (February 5th-February 14th)

    Dear Parents,

    This week will be a combined preview / wrap-up since I did not post last week. I hope everyone enjoys the New Year festivities and has a wonderful break!

    Important Events this Week:

    • Kindness Day – Wednesday, February 14th
    • Shecky Awards – Wednesday, February 14th
    • Last Day before CNY Break – Wednesday, February 14th
    • Chinese New Year Break (February 15 – February 25th)
    • Return to School – Monday, February 26th

    Reading – Students began book clubs by watching the teacher model a sample book club conversation. They thought about what a good book club looked and sounded like. The class also brainstormed a list of possible themes that we frequently find in our books. Some of these included courage, friendship, growing up, fitting in, and family. Each book club session begins with a discussion of question prompts. Different groups have different focuses: one group might concentrate more on vocabulary while another will emphasize trying to build rich, lasting conversations about their books. Since so many students are absent this week, we will be doing more independent reading, making sure that we have a ready supply of Just Right books to read during our break.

    Writing – Last week, students focused on filming and editing their Green Screen videos. This week, they will continue to edit using their rubrics and then we will showcase our videos during the “Shecky Awards” this Wednesday. This will be our fourth grade version of the Academy Awards, the award categories being: “Best Acting and Dialogue”, “Best Historical Fiction Details”, “Most Creative”, and “Best Overall Video”. This project brought their writing projects to life and pushed students to practice all of the ESLRs (being communicators, collaborators, complex thinkers, independent learners, and global citizens).

    Math – Last week, students focused on building their understanding of factors and multiples. We finished the week with an assessment on multiplication and division last Friday. When we return from break, we will begin a unit on geometry, specifically angles. Each math lesson will continue to include the use of mental math, problem-solving, manipulatives, and the expectation of showing and explaining your work.

    Science – Students continued their study of “Soils, Rocks, and Landforms” by investigating the concepts of physical and chemical weathering last week. We looked at how weathering affects the materials that make up the soils that are found in different environments. Using vinegar as a substitute, we observed how acid rain causes certain rocks to chemically weather, but leaves others unaffected. Letting our rocks sit in vinegar overnight, we then poured out the remaining liquid in to evaporation dishes. This week, we will be looking at what is left after the liquid has evaporated.

    Word Study  – We have returned to focus on Spelling, specifically trying to master the spelling words on the Grade 4 Dolch List.

     

    Weekly Preview (1/29-2/1)

    Important Events this Week:

    • ES Open Day – Wednesday, January 31st
    • EAL Parent Information Session – Wednesday, January 31st
    • Parent-Teacher Conference – Thursday, February 1st
    • Complex Thinker Assembly – Friday, February 2nd (in SPAH)

    Reading – We will begin reading in book clubs this week. Our focus will be on developing rich reading conversations and diving into deeper reading skills such as identifying author’s purpose, theme, and using details from the text to support our inferences.

    Writing – Students have finished drafting their own historical fiction pieces from their group story arc. They incorporated “show not tell” techniques such as dialogue, action, internal thought, onomatopoeia, details, and “juicy” words.  Students will choose one story within their group that they would like to turn into a script for their Historical Fiction green screen. After writing their scripts, students can begin to collect photos for their green screen backgrounds and the necessary props/costumes for their movies.

    Math – We will revisit factors and multiples this week along with a review of the multiplication and division strategies that we have practiced in the past. Each math lesson will continue to include the use of mental math, problem-solving, manipulatives, and the expectation of showing and explaining your work.

    Science – Students concluded their study of Migration last week with some reflection videos which they will be posting on Seesaw this week. We are beginning a new science unit called “Soils, Rocks, and Landforms” which builds upon the students’ prior knowledge from second and third grade. Today we began with a KWL chart and a Bill Nye video to help students begin thinking about the topic. We will review the Scientific Method before we begin the FOSS science investigations for this unit.

    Goal Setting – We are preparing for our conferences this Thursday by revisiting our goals from Trimester 1 and looking back on our progress from this year.

     

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